Director Macmillan Davies Hodes
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Blog: TK Maxx - when collaboration pays off

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12th Oct 2011
Director Macmillan Davies Hodes
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Having heard Penny Illston, HR Director at TK Maxx UK & Ireland, speak at our HR Conference recently, I was delighted to see their hard work pay off following a recent visit to one of their stores.

It was relatively quiet in the store and only one person serving at the cash register. With no-one else in line, I stepped forward to be served. Whilst paying, a casually dressed young lad spoke from behind me. He wanted to know if they had any jobs. Why he didn't wait the 30 seconds it would have taken me to enter my pin and remove my card is beyond me but I listened. The sales assistant explained they did have some openings and to leave his CV.  His response was somewhat of a surprise. He started looking through his phone then after a few moments decided to share his frustrations with us. In a fairly abrupt tone, he explained that everyone has been asking him to leave his CV but nothing happens after that. The sales assistant apologised and explained that they had recently run out of application forms. He stormed off.What I can't believe is that a job seeker, looking for work in sales/customer service would think that behaviour suitable when asking about future employment. 

He didn't leave his CV - I don't think he even had a copy with him - and he didn't leave any details. I wonder what he expected would happen by walking in on a quiet Sunday morning empty handed?

As Penny pointed out in her presentation, the barriers or divisions within an organisation are irrelevant to a customer. What they are interested in is their customer experience, the service they receive and their dealings with the brand.  In this instance the Sales Assistant focused her attention on the job she had been trained to do; making my customer experience as pleasant as possible. What all this highlights to me is the importance of collaboration between HR and other internal business departments such as Marketing and Operations to build a consistent internal and external experience.  With this in mind I am happy to report that the Sales Assistant throughout all of this handled the situation brilliantly. She remained composed and continued serving me as though nothing had happened. Not even so much as a raised eyebrow. 
Angela Franks is director of HR recruitment consultancy, Macmillan Davies Hodes' interim business. We welcome any and all contributions from the community, so please feel free to share your views and opinions with us, your colleagues and peers via our blogs section.  

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